Tips for Protecting Local Waterways This Winter

Despite the freezing temperatures, winter is still an important time for water quality.

According to the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, or LGROW, stormwater and snowmelt carry pollutants such as salt, oil and anything else it picks up along the way directly into lakes, rivers and streams.

LGROW recommends following these tips for reducing pollution in waterways:

  • Adopt a drain to help keep it properly maintained.
  • Shovel snow away from drains so runoff can soak into the ground rather than enter drains.
  • Mark drains to keep them clear of snow and prevent a flood.
  • Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter to prevent leaks and wash it at a commercial car wash, where water is reused or sent to a water treatment facility.
  • Use less salt when possible to keep it out of the stormwater system, which can be harmful to aquatic life.
  • Store salt and other de-icers safely to minimize polluted runoff.

For more tips on protecting your watershed, visit

Winter Tips 2020